Bomber Basit Usman killed by MILF
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Long-wanted suspected terrorist bomber Abdul Basit Usman was killed in a military operation in Guindulungan town, Maguindanao, on Sunday.
Senior Supt. Nickson Muksan, Maguindanao police chief, confirmed the death of Usman in a chance encounter with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) 118th base command.
Muksan said Guindulungan Mayor Midpantao Midtimbang and Barangay (village) Muti Chair Gayak Midtimbang confirmed Usman’s death.
Earlier, Mayor Midtimbang said Usman was not welcome in his town.
“His body was taken by relatives. We are locating the relatives so we can take photos,” Muksan told the Inquirer by phone.
A military source said Usman was killed in an operation led by commander Barok of the MILF’s 118th base command in Barangay Muti at 11:50 a.m.
The Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division refused to comment on the report but the source said a photo was provided as visual confirmation of
The military source said government forces were trying to secure Usman’s body from the MILF’s 118th base command.
Von Al Haq, MILF vice chair for military affairs, earlier said they had received a similar report and were verifying it on the ground.
Al Haq said they were closely coordinating with 118th base command chief Wahid Tundok.
Usman, a bomb maker with links to the Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf, had a $1-million bounty on his head from the US Department of State since 2009.
He had been reported killed in air strikes in Pakistan and in Mindanao but military sources said he survived those and was operating in Mindanao.
Usman was the second target of the Mamasapano operation, also in Maguindanao, that resulted in the deaths of 44 elite police commandos, 17 MILF and other Moro rebels and three civilians on Jan. 25.
Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” the primary target of the police’s arrest operation, was killed then.
On June 10 last year, an operation was launched in Barangay Libutan in Mamasapano to capture a suspected bomber who had detonated an improvised explosive device in Datu Unsay town four days earlier that killed a soldier and wounded three others.
Two suspects were killed while four others were arrested during a firefight while an IED, a .50-cal. sniper rifle and a van were recovered.
It was later revealed that the target of the operation was Usman and among those arrested was his wife.
Usman was wounded but he managed to escape. His wife was eventually released.
In Manila, the military was verifying reports Usman had been killed in an encounter with the MILF on Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman, said they were verifying information Usman and two others had been killed in the clash with MILF forces led by a commander Barok.
Kakilala said the 6th Infantry Division would validate the information.
“We are still waiting for confirmation, we don’t know yet what kind of firefight transpired,” he said on Sunday.
The military is checking if Usman was with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which is accused of coddling terrorists, during the encounter.–With a report from Julie M. Aurelio
Originally posted: 5:18 PM | Sunday, May 3rd, 2015
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